From Washington’s economic diplomacy executives to heads of development institutions, JA has profiled the Biden administration’s key players in business and finance on the continent, some of whom are descended.
Security crises (Ethiopia, Sudan, Sahel) seem to occupy the top of the African administration’s agenda. Joe Biden. And the most visible collaborator in Africa of the 46th president of America is his secretary of state, Anthony Blinkenwho sometimes intervened in the conflict in Tigray, sometimes about Russia’s interests in Mali.
However, from the beginning of his mandate, Joe Biden has brought together a solid team of experienced diplomats and development and finance experts. – many of them were born on the continent – ahead of its efforts towards Africa. If, by 2020, the African continent accounts for only about 1.2% of international trade in U.S. goods. – ie less than Italy (1.8%) -, this represents more than 50 billion dollars per year in recent years. In the first nine months of the year, the African trade surplus reached 8.7 billion dollars.
US foreign direct investment (FDI) stocks in Africa reached $ 43 billion in 2019, almost as much as China’s ($ 44 billion). In addition, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and Development Finance Corporation (US DFC) are among the few donors capable of signing checks for $ 500 million for projects in Africa. Finally, the United States occupies a dominant voice within institutions such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
A former banker who worked for JP Morgan and private equity investor Carlyle, Alice P. Albright was chosen by Joe Biden to lead the Millennium Challenge Corporation. This development agency, which specializes in supporting developing countries, provides grants in the form of multi -year “compacts” signed in accordance with certain management standards and effectiveness of public action. Senegal ($ 550 million), Côte d’Ivoire ($ 525 million) and Benin ($ 375 million) benefited.
After her time in the private sector, the one whose mother, Madeleine Albright, was the first American secretary of state, joined Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, as director of operations for eight years, then the global partnership for education he led. since 2013.
In African subjects, Alice Albright will work closely Samantha Power, administrator of USAid, America’s development assistance agency. A former journalist who won the Pulitzer Prize for a book about genocide, this international relations specialist was ambassador to the United Nations during the Obama administration. His agency, which employs more than 10,000 people, has invested more than $ 22 billion over a year to the end of September 2020, including more than $ 700 million in DR Congo, Nigeria and Ethiopia respectively, and nearly half billion in South Sudan, as well as in Kenya and Uganda.
Since 2019, the U.S. government has supported 800 trade and investment agreements in 45 countries in Africa
Chosen by the president of America Enoh T.Ebong to initiate the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). A native of Nigeria, this business lawyer, who specializes in IPOs and mergers and acquisitions, has spent fifteen years with the American agency responsible for promoting “exports of American products and services for priority infrastructure projects in emerging economies ”.
The latter says it has “facilitated more than 76 billion dollars of American exports since its creation in 1992”. In Africa, it is involved in Power Africa (electricity), Access Africa (ICT) and Prosper Africa initiatives. Launched under the previous administration, and redesigned to boost investment and trade between the United States and Africa in a more “sustainable” way, Prosper Africa involves approximately fifteen American ministries and agencies. Since launching Prosper Africa in June 2019, the U.S. government has supported 800 trade and investment agreements in 45 countries, at an estimated cost of $ 50 billion.
The US International Development Finance Corporation (US DFC), the mega-development institution born from the 2019 merger of Opic (loans to structures registered in the United States for international projects) and Development Credit Authority (lenders entity of ‘USAid) investment stock ceiling doubled to $ 60 billion. The management of this structure belongs to Scott Nathan, appointed in August by Joe Biden. A finance veteran, who worked for investment fund The Baupost Group, this MBA holder from Harvard Business School worked as a special representative for Commercial Affairs at the State Department during Obama’s mandates.
In the African apparatus of the Biden administration, it also needs to be mentioned Oren E. Whyche-Shaw. The former executive of the Treasury Department and USAid, where he spent eight years, claims to have provided “8.1 billion dollars in aid to 42 countries in Africa”. He was selected by the US presidency in September to be “United States Administrator at the African Development Bank for a five -year term”.
His predecessor J. Steven Dowd found himself amid controversies that marked the end of the current AfDB president’s first term, in which he was accused by some of supporting dissidents and “whistleblowers” who opposed management of Akinwumi Adesina. An independent audit report cleared him of all suspicion. Oren E. Whyche-Shaw is familiar with the pan-African institution, where he headed the “Private Sector Investment Operations” division between 1998 and 2000.
Because of its vast power of financial sanctions that can affect any personality, company or banks requesting the “greenback”, American diplomacy has never been completely separated from an economic superego. The result: very strong cooperation between the Secretary of the Treasury, Anthony Blinkenthe country’s top diplomat, and the powerful Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellenthat the department draws and enforces lists of penalties.
Gabon is a world leader in climate
The latter is assisted in most of his duties by Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, born in Nigeria in 1981, graduated from Berkeley and Yale, former Deputy National Security Advisor during the Barack Obama administration, where he was the first president of the eponymous foundation (2019-2021). Career diplomat, handed over by Nigeria, Kenya, Gambia and Liberia, Linda Thomas Greenfield has been the United States ambassador to the United Nations since February 2021, where he has multiplied his interventions on topics related to climate change and its effects on countries in the South, particularly acknowledging the “role of Gabon as a leader in the global climate. ”.
Also within the State Department, the highest official on continental affairs is Mary Catherine Pheeformer Ambassador to South Sudan, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs since September, and Trustee of the United States African Development Foundation (USADF), which annually approves more than $ 30 million in donations for projects in Africa.
Asked by U.S. senators in July, the diplomat promised that “U.S. embassies in sub-Saharan Africa will act to address China’s challenge on terms based on international order”, as well as “expand trade and bilateral investment and advance the regional goal of the African Continental Free Trade Area. ”From the security ranks, Dana Banks, a former diplomat to South Africa and Togo, who is now senior director for Africa at the National Security Council, is well -known -known for initiatives related to the continent, especially within the framework of Prosper Africa.